2020 Lexus RX Series vs. 2019 Infiniti QX50

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The RX Series has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The QX50 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the RX Series and the QX50 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RX Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The QX50 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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There are over 12 percent more Lexus dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the RX Series’ warranty.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the RX Series’ reliability 38 points higher than the QX50.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the RX Series first among midsize premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The QX50 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 19th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 11th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Infiniti vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Infiniti is ranked 6th.

Engine

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The RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 27 more horsepower (295 vs. 268) than the QX50’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 40 more horsepower (308 vs. 268) than the QX50’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the RX 450h gets better fuel mileage than the QX50 AWD CVT (31 city/28 hwy vs. 24 city/30 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the RX Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The QX50 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the RX Series Hybrid’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The QX50 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX50 (17.2 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The RX Series’ standard fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX50 (19.2 vs. 16 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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The RX Series stops shorter than the QX50:

RX Series

QX50

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The RX Series has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the QX50; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The RX Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The QX50’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The RX Series offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The QX50’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The RX Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the QX50’s (58.8% to 41.2%). This gives the RX Series more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space

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The RX Series has 4.5 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front hip room, 2.3 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the QX50.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the RX Series’ optional rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The QX50 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Infiniti QX50 is limited to 3000 pounds. The RX Series offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Infiniti. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Infiniti is ranked fourth.

Ergonomics

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The RX Series’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the QX50, and is not available on all models.

The power windows standard on both the RX Series and the QX50 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the RX Series is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX50 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left open on the RX Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the QX50 can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The RX Series’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The QX50’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The RX Series’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Infiniti only offers heated mirrors on the QX50 Essential.

The RX Series offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The QX50 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the RX Series and the QX50 offer available heated front seats. The RX Series also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the QX50.

The RX Series offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The QX50 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the RX Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the RX Series with a number “5” insurance rate while the QX50 is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RX Series is less expensive to operate than the QX50 because typical repairs cost less on the RX Series than the QX50, including $1 less for fuel injection, $34 less for a fuel pump and $165 less for front struts.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/23

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus RX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Infiniti QX50 isn't recommended.

The Lexus RX Series outsold the Infiniti QX50 by over three to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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